Oilmarket Blog

Tank Terminal Market Model – Part 1

Gepubliceerd Jacob on 3 december 2018 15:03:16

INTRODUCTION

 

Last week was a short review of the profit drivers for physical traders, where we explained in short how traders make profit. There are a lot of different factors influencing the tank storage sector. Mostly the imbalances in the sector create opportunities for financial players. The market appears to be complex and demonstrating a lack of transparency. PJK International has developed a Tank Terminals Commercial Performance Model to quickly gain insight and a higher proficiency of the tank storage market. This is the first part related to the Tank Terminal Market Model, next week we will publish the second part for you to be able to connect the dots.

 

MARKET FUNDAMENTALS

 

First we describe the market fundamentals as shown in the image below. Relevant market fundamentals for the oil storage business are the shape of the forward curve, the competitive market structure and the logistical factors supply, demand, imbalances and trade flows. The shape of the forward curve is determined on oil futures markets. The oil price forward curve can be upward sloping (contango) or downward sloping (backwardation). In a backwardated market is less demand for tank storage than in case of a contango. Inventory levels are also lower in a backwardation compared to a contango. Both demand and tank availability are therefore affected and this influences the commercial setting.
 

 

Furthermore the competitive market structure consists of a supply-side and demand-side market structure. Tank capacity and market shares of various terminal operators are key factors that determine the supply-side competition. The number of players, their size and diversity are key factors on the demand-side of the market. Both demand- and supply-side competition influence commercial performance of the terminals. And also Tank terminals are part of the oil products supply chain and therefore logistical factors such as local product demand, regional refinery output, imbalances and trade flows are very relevant. Developments in these factors influence the demand and requirements for tank terminal capacity.
MARKET DYNAMICS

 

Besides the market fundamentals we have to take into consideration the market dynamics. Relevant market dynamics are inventory levels, arbitrage and trade flows, changes in product specifications and variation in vessel sizes. These market dynamics have a direct influence on operations and on terminal requirements. A terminal that can accommodate and can adapt better and faster to these dynamics compared to competitors will likely show superior commercial performance. From the previous section you could already see that market dynamics are linked to market fundamentals.

 

CONCLUSION

 

The market fundamentals and the market dynamics are important building blocks for PJK’s commercial performance model. Next week we will go more into detail regarding this model. If you have any questions regarding the above mentioned subject please do not hesitate to contact me.

 

Thank you very much for your attention.

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ARA independent product stocks at one-year low

Gepubliceerd Jacob on 30 november 2018 16:31:54

London – Oil product stocks held in independent storage within the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp (ARA) trading hub fell by 2.4pc on the week today to 4.83mn t, the lowest recorded since 30 November 2017.

Fuel oil stocks fell by 13pc amid strong demand from east of Suez. The Solomon Sea left Rotterdam on 27 November carrying a 100,000t cargo. Smaller tankers also left the ARA area for the Mideast Gulf and west Africa. Cargoes arrived from France, Russia and the UK.

Gasoil stocks fell by 3pc, the lowest level recorded since June. Low Rhine water levels continued to affect the market, limiting barge flows from the ARA into Germany. Market participants continued to use tankers to load gasoil in the ARA area and transporting it to north German seaports for onward distribution. Demand from inland fell on the week, impacted by higher freight rates. Tankers arrived from Russia and departed for Germany, France, the UK and west Africa.

Gasoline stocks rose by 1.1pc. The US Atlantic and Gulf coasts remained well supplied, limiting interest in European gasoline from across the Atlantic. West Africa was the only region to receive gasoline cargoes from the ARA during the week to today. Gasoline flows into Germany were steady but volumes of blending components coming the other way fell on the week because of weakening gasoline refining margins.

Naphtha stocks rose by 28pc. Inventories were supported by the contango structure in the naphtha market, resulting from an ongoing supply overhang. Demand both from gasoline blenders and petrochemical users remained low during the week to today, and barge flows up the river Rhine to inland end-users dwindled. No tankers left the ARA area and tankers arrived from Algeria, Libya, Russia, Sweden and the US.

Jet fuel stocks rose by 1.7pc to a seven-week high of 656,000t. Tankers arrived from the east of Suez into UK ports, easing the regional tightness seen in regional weeks, and demand was lacklustre. The Fos Picasso arrived into Rotterdam on 27 November with 90,000t of jet fuel from the UAE but had not offloaded at time of writing. As with other products, barge flows into Germany were constrained by low water levels.

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Profit drivers for physical traders

Gepubliceerd Jacob on 23 november 2018 15:53:29

 

Download TT week report

 

 

INTRODUCTION

This is the second blog article of our series of 5 blog articles made for you to be able to better understand the drivers and the complexity of the tank storage industry. In the first article we took a closer look at the functions of a tank terminal. Click here to be able to read the first blog article.

HOW DO TRADERS MAKE MONEY?

Traders can take a physical (&paper) position and ‘buy low / sell high’ to be able to make profit. There are several strategies to profit from trading physical commodities. We can distinguish three main strategies:

1. Arbitrage
2. Speculation
3. Optionality

 

ARBITRAGE

Arbitrage is a very simple idea, it is really taking advantage in the difference of price on essentially the same product, to make profit. For example if you would have the price of gasoline in two different geographical markets. These different markets can be the Netherlands (A) and the US (B). If in market A the price would 1 dollar and in market B the price would be 2 dollars, then you can profit from the difference in price. The three main types of arbitrage are:

 

1. Geographical arbitrage
2. Time arbitrage
3. Technical arbitrage (blending)

 

SPECULATION

The U.S. Commodities Future Trading Commission defines a speculator as a trader who does not hedge, but who trades with the objective of achieving profits through the successful anticipation of price movements. Traders take a position in anticipation of moves in prices/spreads. For example with the gasoil price as is shown in the chart below:

 

 

OPTIONALITY

As for speculation, also for optionality volatility is key. Profit can come from market opportunities, where traders can limit losses if market turns against position. Three examples are:

 

1. Optionality during geographic arbitrage trade
– For example divert ship if there is a better deal and reduce costs
2. Optionality during contango storage
– Contango means that the spot price of oil is lower than future contract for oil
3. Optionality in transport mode
– Can be applied when transport costs are market driven and volatile

 

CONCLUSION

More familiarity within this complex market can provide you with quick insights derived from the financial markets. By watching and following oil prices spreads and market volatility can provide you with a better picture of the market. Other trends like backwardation and contango are also important to understand and analyse, to be able to make intelligent decisions. More to come in the next blog article next week, meanwhile feel free to download last week’s tank terminal report. And try to test your comprehension of the subjects discussed.

For more information or any questions please do not hesitate to contact us.

 

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ARA Independent Product Stocks Rise on the Week

Gepubliceerd Jacob on 23 november 2018 9:38:17

London, (Argus) — Oil product stocks held in independent storage within the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp (ARA) trading hub rose by 1.4pc from a week earlier to 4.95mn t, after reaching an 11-month low a week earlier.

Gasoil stocks fell by 5.1pc to 2.1mn t, the lowest level recorded since June. Supply remained tight in Europe, prompted by disruption to German refining activity caused by low Rhine water levels. Gasoil premiums to North Sea Dated crude consequently averaged more than $23/bl for the second consecutive week, for the first time since November 2012. High Rhine barge freights continued to motivate market participants to transport gasoil volumes by tanker into northern German ports. Tankers carrying gasoil arrived in the ARA area from Latvia, Russia and the US, and departed for France, Germany, the UK and west Africa.

Gasoline stocks rose by 7.9pc to 970,000t. The US Atlantic and Gulf coasts remained amply supplied, limiting interest in European gasoline from across the Atlantic. West Africa was the primary source of demand, with tankers leaving the ARA for that region and for the Mideast Gulf. Tankers arrived from Finland, France and the UK. Disruption to Rhine traffic limited gasoline flows beyond Duisburg, where volumes are being loaded onto trucks for transport into the hinterland.

Fuel oil stocks rose by 13.6pc to 1.04mn t, with strong demand from east of Suez drawing cargoes into the ARA area for onward transport to Singapore. At least one tanker left the area for west Africa, and vessels arrived from Canada, Poland, Russia, the UK and the US. The Solomon Seais due to depart Rotterdam for Singapore on 23 November carrying a 100,000t cargo.

Naphtha stocks fell by 10.6pc to 202,000t, the lowest total since November 2017. Tankers left the ARA area for Asia-Pacific and the Mediterranean, and arrived from Italy, Russia, the UK and the US. Naphtha flows into Germany remained under downward pressure from low water levels, but naphtha demand from gasoline producers in the ARA area was supported by blending for export to west Africa.

Jet fuel stocks rose by 1.4pc to 645,000t. Inland demand continued to be met largely by pipeline flows with high Rhine barge freight rates impacting the use of barges. Recent tightness in northwest European supply drew in at least one partial cargo from the Mideast Gulf, while a single tanker departed for the UK.

Reporter: Thomas Warner

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functions of tank terminals

Gepubliceerd Jacob on 19 november 2018 10:27:50

Download Weekly Report

Introduction

During the coming weeks we will provide you with relevant information regarding the tank storage market and its influences and opportunities. This week we will focus on the different functions a tank terminal. It is the first of 5 blog articles for you to be able to better understand the drivers of this sector and help you with your commercial decisions.

 

Functions of a terminal

Tank terminals can have various functions, although commercial clients’ operational requirements tend to focus on the logistics/hub and trading platform functions. These three main functions are:

  • Logistics/hub – function
  • Trading platform
  • Strategic storage

Logistics/hub function

The logistics/hub function is firstly related to the make/break and bulk of the product(s). In addition we can observe an integrated approach between transport modalities such as sea, rail, road and pipeline. Also the correct integration with an industrial complex and buffer stock(s) are considered to be part of the logistical chain of a tank terminal.

 

Trading platform & Strategic storage

The tank storage activities can also be influenced by the financial markets, as investors, traders and other financial intermediates are active on various trading platforms. How do traders make money and why are they interested in the tank storage industry? Mainly by taking a physical (&paper) position(s), traders take advantage of a price differences between two or more instruments. They will make profit if there is a combination of matching deals that capitalize upon the imbalance. As a trading platform four important factors can be described:

 

  1. Physical arbitrage
  2. Blending
  3. Contango storage
  4. Optionality

 

How does physical arbitrage work? During arbitrage the global commodity traders seek to identify and respond to supply and demand differentials between linked markets. Trading firms are essentially in the business of transforming commodities in space (logistics), in time (storage) and in form (processing). Traders with access to physical oil and storage can profit in a contango market, as the futures price of a commodity is above the expected spot price, and people are willing to pay more for a commodity at some point in the future than the actual expected price of the commodity. Besides this also optionality is very important as it builds in flexibility to profit from market opportunities and limits losses if the market turns against positions.

 

Conclusion

By focussing on the things that matter we can understand better how our clients are making money. As a result it can help shape your business, to have a better insight and to be able to make better operational and commercial decisions. By watching market indicators like the oil price level, market volatility and the forward curves it will provide a better picture of the market. This directly provides in-depth insights into the tank storage market developments. Our weekly report is specifically designed to clarify the mentioned above, and to provide a weekly market snapshot. If you would like more information please do not hesitate to contact me.

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ARA independent product stocks reach 11-month low

Gepubliceerd Jacob on 16 november 2018 12:02:45

London, (Argus) — Oil product stocks held in independent storage within the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp (ARA) trading hub fell by 11pc from a week earlier to 4.88mn t, the lowest level recorded since December 2017.

Gasoil stocks fell by 7pc to 2.2mn t, the lowest level recorded since 5 July amid tight supply in Europe. The Swiss government released more gasoil from its strategic reserves today, in order to alleviate persistent supply disruptions. Barge freight rates from the ARA area to Switzerland have risen to around SFr180/t, up from SFr20/t at the beginning of July. Tankers arrived in the ARA area from Russia and the UK, and none departed.

Gasoline stocks fell by 4pc to 899,000t, the lowest level since 13 September. Several tankers left for Mexico and for Nigeria, and vessels also departed for the US and Mideast Gulf. Tankers arrived in the ARA from France, Russia and the UK. Northwest Europe remained amply supplied and flows into Germany continued to outstrip those coming out, in a reversal of the usual pattern.

Fuel oil stocks fell by 27.4pc to 913,000t. The Frio departed Rotterdam during the reporting period carrying a 130,000t cargo to Singapore, and two other vessels also left the area carrying fuel oil cargoes. Demand from east of Suez remained strong, drawing cargoes into the ARA area for future eastbound loadings. Tankers arrived in the area from Latin America, Russia and Spain during the week to today.

Jet fuel stocks fell by 1.2pc to 636,000t. Inland demand continued to be met largely by pipeline flows and there was an uptick in buying interest for dual purpose kerosine, likely from the UK. Stocks remained low as recent backwardation in Ice gasoil futures made storage economics unviable. In addition, some cargoes originally destined for northwest Europe from the US and east of Suez have been diverted to the Caribbean and Africa, limiting prompt availability.

Naphtha fell by 13.4pc to 226,000t. Outflows to inland end-users remained under downward pressure from problems arising from low Rhine water levels. But demand from gasoline blenders in the ARA area appeared higher, amid increasing gasoline outflows from Europe. A single tankers arrived in the ARA area from the UK, and none left. Eastbound arbitrage economics have become unviable on benchmark paraffinic grades over the last week amid ample supply in Asia-Pacific.

Reporter: Thomas Warner

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ARA independent product stocks rise

Gepubliceerd Jacob on 9 november 2018 12:36:10

(Argus) — Oil product stocks held in independent storage within the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp (ARA) trading hub rose by 3.3pc from a week earlier to 5.48mn t, prompted largely by a sharp rise in fuel oil stocks.

Fuel oil stocks rose by 33.3pc to a seven-week high of 1.26mn t. The Eagle San Francisco and the Frio — both Suezmax-sized tankers — are currently in Rotterdam awaiting loading. Firm demand from east of Suez continues to draw smaller cargoes into ARA for loading into larger tankers. Tankers arrived in the ARA area from Canada, France, Latvia, Russia, Spain and the UK. A single tanker left the area for west Africa.

Naphtha stocks also rose, increasing by 8.3pc to 261,000t. Outflows to inland end users remained under downward pressure from problems arising from low Rhine water levels. Naphtha demand from gasoline blenders in northwest Europe also remained low. Dwindling demand from end users in Asia-Pacific limited viable outlets for European naphtha, helping to bring outright prices to their lowest since February, at $545.50/t. Vessels arrived from Algeria, Finland, France, Norway and the UK. None left the area.

Jet kerosene stocks rose by 2.9pc to 644,000t. The Pro Triumph arrived into Rotterdam on 4 November carrying an 80,000t jet fuel cargo from India, and a single tanker departed for the UK. Steep backwardation in underlying Ice gasoil futures made the economics of storing jet fuel in tank unattractive, creating an incentive for end users to consume purchased volumes promptly.

Stocks of gasoil fell by 133,000t to 2.38mn t, the lowest level recorded since 19 July, amid tight supply in Europe. Margins for French 10ppm diesel cargoes on a cif Le Havre basis climbed to $23.85/bl against North Sea Dated yesterday, from $20.48/bl a week earlier — to their widest point since November 2012. Margins have averaged some $14.69/bl in the year to date. Tankers arrived in the ARA area from Russia and the US, and departed for the UK, west Africa and Germany. Low Rhine water levels have prompted market participants to transport gasoil to north German ports on tankers, before sending them inland via rail.

Gasoline stocks fell by 42,000t to 943,000t, the lowest level since late 20 September. Remaining supply of summer-grade product helped incentivise bookings to Argentina and Australia. Tankers also left for Latin America, China and west Africa. Tankers arrived from Denmark, France, Italy, Norway and the UK. Northwest Europe remained amply supplied. As with gasoil, gasoline was increasingly being transported into inland Germany by rail in response to low Rhine water levels.

Reporter: Thomas Warner

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ARA independent product stocks lowest since August

Gepubliceerd Jacob on 5 november 2018 9:11:42

(Argus) – Oil product stocks held in independent storage within the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp (ARA) trading hub fell by 2.6pc from a week earlier to a nine-week low of 5.3mn t, prompted by falling stocks of all recorded products.

Naphtha stocks fell by 16pc to 241,000t, the lowest level since 11 May 2018. Outflows to inland end-users were marginally higher than the level recorded a week earlier. Tankers arrived from Russia and the UK, and none were reported leaving the area. Northwest European naphtha prices are at their lowest since April, inhibiting arbitrage inflows from other regions.

Stocks of gasoil fell by 51,000t to 2.51mn t, the lowest level recorded since 30 August, amid firm demand. German 10ppm diesel barge differentials have found support across the last week, potentially aided by a brief recovery in Rhine water levels. Water levels rose to 53cm at key measuring point Kaub today, according to shipping reports, from just 27cm on 24 October — allowing a greater number of barges to access firm demand from German inland markets. Diesel barge differentials climbed to premiums of $5/t against Ice November gasoil at the close of October, from premiums of $3.75/t on 25 October. Tankers arrived in the ARA area from Saudi Arabia and the US, and departed for the United Kingdom.

Gasoline stocks fell by 11,000t to 985,000t. Volumes heading up the Rhine into Germany were higher than those coming the other way, with refinery activity in the country impeded by low water levels and outages. Tankers departed for the Mideast Gulf, Suez for orders and the UAE. Tankers arrived from Finland, France, Spain, Sweden and the UK.

Fuel oil stocks fell by 2.4pc to 944,000t, the lowest level since the first week of April amid firm demand from east of Suez. The fall in inventories was prompted by the loading and departure of at least two Suezmax-sized cargoes during the week to today. Tankers arrived in the ARA area from Latvia, Poland, Russia and the UK.

No jet kerosene cargoes arrived in the ARA area during the week to today, and inventories reached their lowest level since 17 May at 626,000t. Backwardation in underlying Ice gasoil futures made the economics of storing jet fuel in tank unviable.

Reporter: Thomas Warner

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ARA independent product stocks fall

Gepubliceerd Jacob on 26 oktober 2018 15:25:16

(Argus) Oil product stocks held in independent storage within the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp (ARA) trading hub fell by 7.6pc from a week earlier, prompted by a drop in stocks of all products recorded except gasoline.

Stocks of gasoil fell by 11pc to 2.56mn t hitting their lowest level since early September. A lack of incoming cargoes from the US and the Mideast gulf because of higher demand in other key import regions meant that outflows outstripped incoming volumes. Tankers arrived in the ARA area from France, Spain and the UK and departed for Latin America, South Africa, the US and west Africa. Low water levels on the Rhine impacted gasoil flows into Germany further this week.

Most Rhine gasoil barges stayed north of Koblenz, but some passed the bottleneck at Kaub in response to strong demand from upper Rhine destinations. Margins for French 10ppm diesel cargoes on a cif Le Havre basis climbed to $17.59/bl against North Sea Dated yesterday, the widest since 15 August according to Argus data.

Fuel oil stocks fell by 6.8pc to their lowest level since the first week of April, prompted by firm demand from east of Suez. The fall in inventories was prompted by the loading and departure of at least three cargoes during the week to Thursday. The SCF Ural and Chios departed for Singapore during the reporting period carrying 140,000t cargoes, while the Advantage Spring departed with a 130,000t cargo. Tankers arrived in the ARA area from Estonia, the Mediterranean, Russia and the US.

Gasoline stocks were broadly unchanged. Outflows were again supported by exports of summer grade product to destinations in the southern hemisphere. Eurobob oxy gasoline is currently trading at a 43¢/bl discount to North Sea Dated crude for the first time in over seven years, with supply outstripping demand in key export markets. Tankers departed for Latin America, South Africa, the US and west Africa.

No jet fuel cargoes arrived in the ARA area during the week to 25 October, and inventories reached their lowest level since 17 May.

Naphtha stocks fell by 16pc, their lowest level since 6 September. Low Rhine water levels again weighed on demand from inland petrochemical end-users.

Tankers arrived from Finland, France, Norway and Poland. Europe remains under a naphtha supply overhang amid low demand from gasoline blenders and petrochemical end-users, prompting a sharp rise in eastbound bookings.

Reporter: Thomas Warner

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ARA oil product stocks fall on gasoil draws

Gepubliceerd Jacob on 19 oktober 2018 13:16:35

London, 18 October (Argus) — Oil product stocks held in independent storage within the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp (ARA) trading hub fell by 4.1pc on the week today, as a result of a significant drop in gasoil volumes.

Stocks of gasoil rose fell by 5.3pc to their lowest in four weeks (see table). Cargoes arrived from Russia and departed for France, the UK and the Mediterranean. Demand from along the Rhine remained muted, particularly in the upper Rhine area.

Gasoline stocks fell by 7.1pc. Ample supply weighed blending margins, boosting outflows. Tankers left for Australia, Latin America, Singapore, the US and west Africa.

Fuel oil stocks rose slighlty. Tankers left the ARA area for Singapore and west Africa, and the Chios was still in ARA partially loaded today. Tankers arrived in the area from France, the Mediterranean, Latvia, Poland, Russia and Spain.

Naphtha stocks edged up, with demand from within Europe subdued amid narrow gasoline blending margins and transport issues on European waterways.

Reporter: Thomas Warner

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